Kelly Bids Farewell as Town Board Supervisor, Montemarano Steps Down as Councilman

The Pawling Town Board convened on Wednesday, December 6 for a workshop meeting. Officials announced the resignation of a Town Councilman; the evening also marked the final assembly for Town Supervisor Dave Kelly. The Board addressed several topics, including transfer station policy and the appointment of an Owner’s Representative for the Whaley Lake Dam reconstruction project.

The meeting opened with the announcement that Town Councilman Michael Montemarano had resigned from his position, citing personal reasons. “I was very saddened to hear this news,” said Supervisor Kelly. “Mike has done a lot for this town, and he will continue to do a lot. We thank Mike for all that he has done, and he will continue to be used as a resource.”

Councilman Bill Johnson added: “Mike is one of the most detail-oriented people that I’ve ever had the privilege of working with.”

Montemarano served on the Town Board for 11 years, and his resignation was accepted with reluctance. “The new board members are really going to miss out on having him here. He was a big help to me,” said Councilman Phil DeRosa. In the new year, the Town Board will deliberate and appoint a replacement to fill the vacancy left by Montemarano.

The Board then continued discussions regarding the transfer station. Specifically, officials weighed the options for having full-time attendants to monitor the facility in 2018. Currently, the station is staffed by part-time attendants for the forty hours of operation each week. In addition to the enforcement of regulations, attendants are also asked to collect data to help the Town Board make adjustments to policies for refuse disposal. Because of budgetary restrictions, the Board is considering limiting the hours of attendants by also using town constables to monitor the facility. In addition, the Board approved a $25 increase for next year’s Transfer Station permit, bringing the total cost to $355 for the first permit, and $20 for each additional permit per residence. Officials stress that stickers should be properly affixed to each vehicle. The Board is currently looking into amending the transfer facility’s policy on accepting brush from commercial vehicles.

In other business, the Board heard a presentation from Wendel Weber, Supervisor of Buildings and Grounds. Weber received permission to purchase a new greens mower for the daily use at the Dutcher Golf Course at a cost of roughly $19,000. A good portion of this expense will be offset by a $12,300 surplus from the department’s budget from 2017. In addition, Weber outlined two perspective projects for Board approval. First, a NYSEG LED lighting replacement program could help to offset the cost of upgrading lighting in several Town buildings including Town Hall and the Lathrop Building. The program offers financial assistance in replacing older lighting with new energy-saving LED options. Weber also presented a proposal to replace several docks in Lakeside Park as well as the addition of racing lanes at a cost of roughly $23,000. The lighting upgrade and dock projects will be under consideration by the new administration in the new year.

As the Whaley Lake Dam reconstruction project continues to move forward, the Board formally appointed Vincent DiMarco as the Owner’s Representative for the project. Selected from a pool of qualified candidates, Mr. DiMarco was chosen for his extensive knowledge of construction and his familiarity with the project. The Owner’s Representative will oversee the reconstruction effort and acting as a liaison to the Town Board. The project continues to advance smoothly, with officials hopeful that installation of cofferdams (watertight enclosures pumped dry to permit construction work below the waterline) will be completed by the end of the year.

The meeting concluded with a farewell statement from Supervisor Dave Kelly to his fellow Board members and those in attendance: “We’ve had a great run for eight years. I’d like to continue to help out however I can. We’ve done the right thing for the people of this town. That’s what we’ve always tried to do. When I took over, Pawling had a fund balance of zero. Our next supervisor will be taking over with a fund balance of $800,000 to work with. I was always told to leave things better than when I found them, and I think I did. And I could never have done any of this without my wife, Julie.” As Mr. Kelly leaves his role as Town Supervisor, he will be accepting an appointment to the National Parks Services Board of Advisors, assigned directly to the Northeast Regional Board.